“Guess what?” My son greeted me.
“Looks like the septic tank is about to overflow.”
This is an accurate visual representation of my face in reaction to those words.
Of all my fears, this one ranks right up there near the top. Just seeing those commercials where they show a disgusting bathroom awash in septic overflow causes me to hyperventilate. I am only slightly mollified by the tidy looking man in a spotless white hat with a big smile who says he is there to help and will completely remove the mess (for a tremendous fee, of course).
Thankfully, all the septic businesses around this area boldly herald from all their trucks and advertisements that they provide 24 hour emergency service. Whew!
Until my husband called three of said companies at 8:00 in the evening … and every single one of them said they could not come out until the next day.
I am the absolute worst person at math that I know. But even I know that 8 p.m. falls within a 24 hour period.
Needless to say, my sleep last night was filled with nightmares of apocalyptic proportions.
Lately, I have moved in and am living in Colossians 3 in the Bible. It is a soaring, stunning, beautiful, practical, challenging portion of Scripture and I love it.
Jesus has been using it to do major surgery on my heart that is too often cold, selfish and unloving. Little by little, day by day, He is transforming me and I am awestruck by His tender mercy and love toward one so stubborn.
Every day I realize afresh that the only reason there is anything lovely in me at all is because Loveliness Himself has miraculously and delightfully chosen to make Himself at home in my heart.
One verse in particular stood out to me this morning as I very anxiously awaited the arrival of the septic man. (Just as I write these words, he has arrived! I had to stop myself from running outside and giving him a massive hug of gratitude).
This was the verse:
Clothe yourselves therefore as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives) who are purified and holy and well-beloved by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, and patience (which is tireless, long-suffering and has the power to endure whatever comes with good temper.). —Colossians 3:12, Amplified
It was that last line that got me.
Whatever comes? With good temper?
Even the threat of imminent septic tank destruction?!
Yes. Even that.
“Good temper” and “Susan” do not often go together.
However, “Susan” and “Fiery temper” do.
You see, to live the way Colossians 3 instructs us to do is totally impossible. It is counter-intuitive to our fallen human nature. But it is utterly and completely the nature of Jesus.
Colossians 3 is a sweeping, larger-than-life, joyous invitation to enter into and live your life in the matchless and perfect strength of the risen Christ—which is infinitely better than trying to navigate this tough life on our own measly and ultimately ineffective might.
Jesus offers us a much better way: to submit our fragile natures to His perfect heart and exchange our weakness for His limitless, boundless power.
I had to smile as I ran my fingers over the smooth page of Scripture. Jesus’ Word is so timely, so relevant. He is the Lord of all … not just the big stuff. He cares about everything we are facing.
He is attuned to all our fears, not just the big ones. And He willingly meets us there.
He never chides us for being afraid, for being overwhelmed, for being scared, for being human. He knows that we are dust, that we are small and weak despite all our bluster.
When we call on Him, He is always there to comfort, to encourage, to strengthen, to empower.
And because of this truth, I was indeed able to face this septic system emergency with good temper.
Some in my family consider that a miracle.